Alternative title: The Wings of Fate are cruel.
Hello everyone, welcome back to another episode of “Fire Emblem Heroes updated and I feel obligated to stay up into the ridiculous hours of the morning to have a timely post about it for some reason.” This is your host, Jason Rochlin.
In today’s special episode of that thing I just wrote out, you’re going to observe the ramblings of a madman, driven to insanity by his own gluttonous desire and lack of self-control in the face of an entity that, pardon my french, does not give a fuck.
All observers of this program should be 18 years old or older, or at least mature enough to understand the truly empty sadness of a somewhat successful college-age boy who thinks and talks far too much about a collection of lines one person drew that is perceived by everyone’s abstract brain as representing a twenty-something year-old redhead in a mobile app game for iOS and Android devices.
Viewer discretion is advised. Not really. But you’ve been warned.
Fire Emblem Fates is a game that hasn’t gotten any love in Heroes since the Children of Fates banner some time ago that brought in a number of characters. Included in that list of characters was Soleil, one of my favorite units from those titles.
At the time I spent all my orbs to get her, only for her to eventually become a four star unit that I now have 5 copies of.
How shall these new units I’m excited for screw me over, I wonder?
- Kana — Dragon Princess
- Kana wins the award for the cutest artwork in this update hands down. However, skill-wise she’s… Okay. I already have two powerful green dragons in the forms of Myrrh and Grima so perhaps I’m somewhat disillusioned, but having another green dragon with a breath that calculates damage using the lower defensive stat without actually having a built-in way to hit from a distance is disappointing. It’s hard to argue with Draconic Aura and Fierce Stance however, so luckily her cute butt is on my radar this time around. Just don’t call the police on me for saying it like that.
- Shigure — Uplifting Artist
- Okay… So… Shigure is here for his second time since the Performing Arts banner. He’s a lot more underwhelming this go around, sporting a weapon that powers up his special attack to ensure he restores a little more health… But beyond that doesn’t have too much going for him in my opinion. Perhaps if Mitama comes out soon and I can ship them together he’ll have a bit more utility, but until then he’s far outclassed by the other flying unit in this banner.
- Hinoka — Blue Sky Warrior
- Okay, hold up.
I need a little more free space to discuss this one because I’ve quite literally been mulling over this Hinoka alt since she was announced Sunday night.
Who… Who exactly over at Intelligent Systems allowed this?
Let me break it down. Hinoka is a flying unit based on the Kinshi Knight model from Fire Emblem Fates. Already a good start because the Kinshi Knights were one of my favorite things about that set of games.
She’s a bow-wielding flying unit (which is unique up until now if I’m not mistaken) with a bow that actually, literally has four effects.
- Effective against flying units, as all bows are.
- Effective against armored units, which is unprecedented for bows and quite welcomed in the world of Black Knights and Hectors.
- Grants +3 Speed, which I’m assuming is on top of an already solid speed stat.
- Drive Attack. Just… Straight up built-in Drive Attack skill on a bow with three other skills already built-in.
Like how is that legal in the state of California?
Hinoka also comes out of the box with four other main slot skills attached. On top of having all of that utility in her special 14 might bow: She also has Luna as a special attack that reduces defense or resistance by 50 percent when triggered, Attack/Speed Bond to grant her +5 in both stats when next to an ally, as well as both Flier Formation and Flier Guidance to allow her to jump next to units two spaces away or vice versa.
Those last two skills basically guarantee she’ll have the bonded boost and will likely activate her Drive Attack bow for allies.
There’s so much synergy in this one unit that I just cannot understand how we’ve allowed this to happen. If she has fantastic base stats as well, Hinoka is going to be an absolute monster.
Oh and let’s not forget… She’s Hinoka. And the Hoshido sisters are leagues better than the Nohrian sisters.
Don’t @ me, Internet.
Okay but with all this gushing over Hinoka, I suppose I should also lay out my issues with her inclusion here.
For one, I would be remiss not to talk about my problem with Hinoka appearing as a “brand new” unit in a main story banner like I did when cavalier Eirika was introduced a while back. That slot could have very easily gone to someone else from Fates.
On top of that, my flier emblem team is already pretty stacked so I’m really not sure who to replace.
But those are small complaints all things being equal. I’ll still be spending all of my 140-ish orbs on this banner if I have to.
Just watch me get destroyed.
What’s that? I already did get destroyed?
Oh. I see.
Well I suppose it’s time to store up orbs again so I can keep bashing my head against this brick wall. Thank god the Tempest Trials are still going so I can squeeze some more orbs out of those.
Also side note, I’m glad to see Nanna got demoted to four-star status so quickly after her token banner considering she’s the only one of those heroes I got.
But I digress. I’m sure you’re all tired of me complaining and want to get into the story. So let’s do that.
I will say, just to start off this portion of the episode, that I appreciate how frequently Intelligent Systems has been moving the main story forward. I’m a sucker for a developing story, after all.
Thematically I think the developers killed it when putting together this portion of the story for a number of reasons. For one, the ice castle aesthetic is pretty great on its own. On top of that, it looks like the kind of environment I would expect to see coming out of the Fire Emblem Fates world, so everything feels copacetic.
But on top of both of those things, let’s also not forget that the music coming out of Fates is just mm-mmm good. Seriously I’ve had the map’s main theme stuck in my head since the banner trailer was first released.
Now if only I could remember the name of the track…
I’ll think about it. In the meantime, let’s talk about story.
We start this leg of the race suddenly much further ahead than we left off before. Essentially, we’ve completely skipped over any and all exposition between Gunnthrá’s death in the Thracia missions and the arrival at this castle for the Rite of Frost.
But wait, we aren’t getting out of this without a cinematic cutaway to a Kevin Smith-style conversation between characters who could otherwise be doing super action-y stuff based on what they’re saying.
Surtr continues to be as brutal as ever, which for some reason still surprises me. Also fire ritual foreshadowing that I bet won’t become relevant for the next twenty chapters or so.
HEY WAIT A SECOND, THERE’S A PERFECT DISTRACTION RIGHT HERE!
XANDER IS STILL HERE GUYS!
Yeah I know that’s like a small detail, but I seriously always forget that Xander is for some reason still the top general in Veronica’s army. It’s such an obscure fact, but the more it becomes relevant the more I’m starting to think maybe Veronica is Xander’s perfect match instead of Hinoka.
… Except there’s probably some pedophilic implications in that statement all things being equal.
Also I just reminded myself that Hinoka is a thing in this banner and she’s alluding my wanton desire, so I’m just going to move on.
Battles happen as usual until the Order of Heroes makes it to the part of the castle where they can begin the ritual.
Figures we can’t go a single Fire Emblem game without a legendary dragon getting involved.
So you fight all of the Fates enemies (including the awfully handsome Kaze, because I mean…)
There really isn’t much of a challenge to it, so soon enough Fjorm is able to begin pre-preparation of rites.
All seems to have gone well. Until…
You know what this calls for?
Yeah that’s right, welcome back Feh plot thickening meme. How I’ve missed you.
What’s that? Should I actually say something about the moment? Well… Fjorm is probably going to die. Join her sister in the afterlife or whatever. Unless of course this is all just a ploy to make her sick at the last-minute so we need a Deus Ex Machina to save the day and defeat Surtr once and for all.
I guess only time will tell.
Speaking of Surtr, as he so eloquently established by threatening to break someone’s legs, the next step of the journey for our rag-tag bunch of orb-hording freaks is the fire kingdom itself so they can take on the hulking brute.
Will the Order succeed in taking on Surtr? Will hilarious or emotional hijinks ensue? Who will be the units that preside over the final fight with the King of Fire?
Find out on the next episode of-
Oh wait, there’s more. What is this a Marvel movie post-credit scene?
Gasp! Time for a Feh meme x2 combo.
Okay so real talk, as much as I appreciate the double-cross twist of the big bad guys actually just wanting to use the little bad guy as a sacrifice for bad things, I do think this development was a bit rushed.
When I made the cut-away joke about Xander suddenly appearing again, I really was serious when I meant there was an interesting amount of foreshadowing happening. But no, that foreshadowing was just alluding to a portion of the story coming up at the end of the same mission.
Hopefully there’s a little more filler between this point and fighting the final battle, because otherwise rushed may unfortunately be the only way to describe the ending to this really cool long-term plot experiment.
Alright, with all that said, we’ve once again reached the end of another exhaustive night (morning?) of writing about dumb mobile game shenanigans.
How do you feel about the new heroes that have been brought into the game? Or, more specifically, how much do you agree with me about Hinoka being broken as hell?
Let me know in the comments down be-
THAT’S IT, THAT’S THE SONG THAT PLAYS UNDER THESE NEW MAPS!
Shout out to my boy Jonathan for helping me find the tune, because I was honestly going to go crazy if I couldn’t remember the name sometime soon to listen to it on repeat for the next couple of weeks.
Hope you all enjoy the kick-ass track. Because I’m going to sleep now so I can take on another day of visiting the tailor and going to work.
The circle of life.